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article image20th Anniversary of the first Free Election to DDR Volkskammer Special

By Riccardo Valsecchi     Mar 22, 2010 in Politics
Berlin - The German parliament (Bundestag) celebrates the 20th anniversary of the first free election to the People’s Chamber (Volkskammer) of the German Democratic Republic on March 18, 1990.
The People's Chamber was the unicameral legislature of the German Democratic Republic from its founding in 1949 until March 18, 1990. All members of the Volkskammer were elected on a slate controlled by the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED), called the National Front. Despite the appearance of a multi-party system, all opposition parties were effectively controlled by the dominant SED. In addition, seats were also allocated to various mass organizations affiliated with the SED, such as the Free German Youth.
The Chamber was hosted in the monumental Palast of the Republik, behind Alexander Platz; the building has now been completely deconstructed to make room for a planned Stadtschloß reconstruction.
Lothar de Maizière (CDU), who was the first and the only democratically elected Prime Minister of the German Democratic Republic, delivered a touching speech in front of a Parliament full of old and new protagonists from the German politic scene, among whom Angela Merkel (CDU-chancellor), Guido Westerwelle (FDP, vice-chancellor), Renate Künast (Die Grünen) and Gregor Gysi (Die Linke) were present.
Bundestag  the German parlament
Bundestag, the German parlament
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